Robots take over Fingal Libraries in STEM spectacular

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on December 31, 2018.

Fingal County Council was taken over by robots in November and December… but only for two days. Based in Grove Road, Blanchardstown on Saturday, November 24, and in the Atrium at County Hall, Swords, on Saturday, December 1, two day-long robotics events brought to an end Fingal Libraries’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) programme […]

Fingal County Council was taken over by robots in November and December… but only for two days.

Based in Grove Road, Blanchardstown on Saturday, November 24, and in the Atrium at County Hall, Swords, on Saturday, December 1, two day-long robotics events brought to an end Fingal Libraries’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) programme for 2018.

Having started in July with STEMfest, the programme contained a variety of school events for Science Week, as well as STEM Saturdays for the public. These events gave our borrowers the chance to experience workshops in robotics, coding, engineering, art, biology, and flying, amongst other things.

 

Pedal-powered race cars kept us all active throughout the day!

Pedal-powered race cars kept us all active throughout the day!

Running from 10am – 4pm on both days, the robotics events were a magnificent ending to the programme for the year, with young and old attending both sessions for some highly entertaining and educational activities.

Mechatrons lead proceedings with ‘Ingenius Machines’. One of Ireland’s leading creators of entertainment and educational robotics, they have consulted on and created amazing special effects and props for movies and television shows. Staff and visitors alike were ecstatic to meet some of our favourite famous robots, including a Minecraft Creeper, and R2D2 from Star Wars. A1-ex, a cyber lifeform who can walk and talk just like us, was particularly impressive, casting a keen eye over proceedings.

Mechatrons also offered SESCA Robotics Workshops for young adults, using Arduino-based SESCA robotics kits, and showed off their ‘Rascals’, the football-playing robots.

The crowds were fascinated, meanwhile, when world-renowned robotics expert Professor Peter Redmond, who took his audiences on a journey that blurred the boundary between robots in Science Fiction, and robots in real life.

Young Engineers at work in Grove Road, Blanchardstown.

Young Engineers at work in Grove Road, Blanchardstown.

Having featured at a number of our events throughout the year, The Academy of Code returned to offer a taste of the world of coding. Short demonstrations and introductory workshops allowed coders of all ages and abilities to improve their skills, and learn some excellent tips and tricks. E2 Young Engineers, who took part in the Blanchardstown Library STEMfest, also returned with their LEGO Bricks challenge, which taught participants about physics using the popular building toy.

Two robotics enthusiasts in Grove Road, Blanchardstown, with R2D2.

Two robotics enthusiasts in Grove Road, Blanchardstown, with R2D2.

Although the robots had vacated the offices by the following Monday, the memory of R2D2 roaming the Atrium at County Hall will live long in our memories, and we look forward to hosting more STEM events in 2019!

By Aoife Carberry, Blanchardstown Library